YAS says YES to solar powered ambulances

Solar AmbulanceYorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) has been awarded a grant from the Department for Transport Clean Vehicle Technology Fund to install solar panels on emergency vehicles across the region.

The trust was awarded £166,000 to fit the equipment on 175 of its rapid response vehicles (RRVs) as part of a Government initiative to reduce the impact of exhaust fumes on the environment.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service will be one of the first in England to use this equipment on its emergency fleet and is looking to roll out the solar-powered vehicles from November 2014.

RRVs are often strategically located across the region on standby awaiting the next emergency call and currently staff are required to keep the vehicle engine running at all times to power vital electrical systems. The solar panels (similar to the ones shown above) will power everything electrical in the vehicle and prevent car batteries from going flat when stationary. They will also reduce emissions when RRVs are on standby as the engine can be switched off whilst they are waiting for the next call.

Alexis Keech, Environmental and Sustainability Manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said, “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding to trial this equipment. South Central Ambulance Service has already trialled and installed this technology and have reaped a reduction in emissions from eliminating the need to constantly run their engines. Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is keen to also reap the benefits and believe that there is also a huge potential for reduction in air pollution.

“Not only does it allow us to reduce the carbon footprint of our organisation and contribute to the Government’s work to reduce emissions, it will also reduce our fuel costs meaning we can re-invest the savings into frontline services and patient care.”